7:20am Friday 2nd August 2013
ENDANGERED waterside wildlife is set to get a helping hand by snap happy members of the public in Halesowen, Dudley and Stourbridge.
The Canal and River Trust is urging local residents to take photos of local wildlife as part of its Great Nature Watch scheme.
Local canals have become a unique corridor for wildlife, providing essential shelter, food and breeding grounds and the trust wants to arrest the decline of wildlife species of the last 50 years.
Paul Wilkinson, senior ecologist for Canal & River Trust in the Midlands says: “Our ultimate aim is to ensure there are plenty of habitats for wildlife to move up and down our waterway corridors, through city centres, as well as remote parts of the countryside.
“We’re hoping Great Nature Watch can support the great environmental progress we’ve made over the years.
“People power can make a big difference so we hope visitors to our canals or rivers will get round as much of our waterway network in the Midlands as possible and help create a ‘living map’.”
Wildlife lovers can download a free app on their smartphones or tablets called enaturewatch, or visit the Trust’s website to take part in the Great Nature Watch and also learn about the animals and plants they see.
Mr Wilkinson added: “The countryside has been fragmented over the last 50 years with increasing urban environments.
“The waterway corridors in the Midlands, particularly in Birmingham, Halesowen, Dudley and Stourbridge are unique and we need to do all we can to keep them this way as we’re seeing so many species struggling for survival.“ The trust is working at Fens Pools in Dudley which is a Special Area of Conservation and a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its amphibian populations.
The three reservoirs, which the trust manage in partnership with Dudley Council, feed into the canal network via the Stourbridge Canal.
Surveys are now being undertaken to test the quality of the water and aquatic habitats in the ponds and canals by taking invertebrate samples, as well as recording amphibian tadpoles.
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